Why you might roll your eyes:
The drink conjures visions of Kentucky Derby day, when the Willard hotel’s normally hushed bar floods with bow-tied men and hatted women attempting their best Pretty Woman impressions, $15 cocktails in hand.
Why you’ll love it:
On other nights, when the bar’s not crowded, the place oozes that old-Washington boys-club vibe, which makes for fascinating people-watching. The bar still makes its mint julep to the exact specifications of Kentucky senator Henry Clay, who introduced the sugary concoction to the District there in the early 1800s. Sink into a leather chair in a dimly lit corner and sip from a frosted glass as you try to guess who in the bar is starting an affair, who’s making a million-dollar business deal, and who’s just thirsty.
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100.